Dr. John Gray, who guested on “Coast to Coast” with George Noory the other night, was full of information about how men and women deal differently with stress. His latest book, Why Mars and Venus Collide deals with such:
A few points he made should concern you as a PullJoy man. Gray stated that exercise is not a stress buster for women, since it raises their cortisone levels. Only works for guys. What works for women? Long walks (because they can think out their issues), talking, and romantic feelings. All about that oxytocin we dealt with in a recent post. And all good news for you- use public parks and long walks to speed bond- with her talking all the while. Remember to listen- not solve. Makes her feel great, then you can bounce to a private spot.
I’m all for women pursuing college and careers (if inclined to), but success doesn’t abate women’s stress either. Gray discussed how accomplishment stokes testosterone- not something women need a lot of. Oprah and Martha are on top, but their personal trainers (men) look more fit than they do. That’s because the genders have not adapted to women having more professional options- our body is designed to crave achievement and savor workplace recognition, women, who have 30% more body fat, are designed to be calmed by bonding and nurturing. Perhaps the real aspect that makes Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, and Oprah happy is the fact that the information they share is helping people (nurturing). Again, not to sound sexist, but even though at least 50% of law, medicine and business school enrollees are women, females dominate the nursing, schoolteaching and flight attendant professions. Physiology is what it is, and everything in life is mental, fellas.
Another dirty little secret, though Dr. Gray said women are twice as likely to take anti-depressants as we are (he said the figure used to be four times as likely) the meds don’t increase serotonin, they hold our supply of it longer- or conserve it. Thus the term “selective serotonin uptake inhibitor” (SSRI). They, like exercise, have also been shown in studies to raise a woman’s cortisone levels- a no-no. What this means for you guys is that the drugs don’t address the reason she’s upset or stresses out (family stuff, exams, workplace woes, guy trouble, her girlfriends are pairing off). It’s about changing a person’s environment, not medicating them to bliss. In males, who are far more prone to violence than women, some lawsuits have attempted to connect SSRI use in males to school shootings and rampages.
Ask her to go for a walk outside the club, or meet her in a park or botanical gardens the day after you cop the digits. Take in nature and listen to her concerns. Do a large museum. Bond with her and bed her, the PullJoy way. Hers ain’t the only stress you’ll be relieving.